If you’re like most people, the majority of your home cleaning appointments are between you and yourself. While many effective cleaning products are available for every manner of cleaning your home, most of them are incredibly toxic. If you are interested in making your home a bit more safe on cleaning days and beyond, follow these simple steps by Companion Maids.
1. Throw Out All Harmful Products
If you look under your sink, you will most likely find an array of skull labels with the word ‘fatal’ included in the wording. Your bug killers, oven cleaners, floor wax — all of these products tend to be toxic. With every spray, harmful chemicals become airborne, ready to be inhaled by yourself, your children and even your four-legged best friends. Do yourself a favor and prepare for a cleaner, safer home by eliminating harmful products that you ingest on a daily basis.
The keyword here is toxic. When shopping, be sure to check the labels of each product you are considering. If you see something like, ‘harmful or fatal if swallowed,’ ‘caution’ or anything with the word ‘poison,’ it’s best to avoid that product. Also, take note that many products can be highly corrosive and damage various surfaces in your home. Corrosive products can also damage your skin. With that said, focus on finding non-toxic, biodegradable products.
3. The Proper Green Clean
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with green cleaning products. The first is to pay attention to what type of water is flowing through your faucet. Is it hard or soft? If your water is hard, you will likely need to clean with a detergent instead of soap to eliminate soap scum.
Speaking of water, try to use as little of it as you can. One of the main ways in which you can produce a smaller footprint on the world’s resources is to conserve water.
Finally, there are many ways you can keep your air safer to breathe, but one fun way, in particular, is plants! Plants tend to absorb harmful toxins, making the air in your home a little cleaner.
Being a maid — particularly a housemaid can be a very difficult task. As a maid service business, we encounter an entire spectrum of different expectations and needs from our clients. Recently, I had a conversation with a close friend of mine, who isn’t in the business and has never hired a maid before, about how much maids make on an hourly basis. His thoughts were that experienced maids typically earn an unreasonably high rate per hour ($35-45) where I, as a company owner that pays well above the standard rate, have more realistic numbers.
So we decided to look this up. The results surprised even me. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a bit less than 1 million full-time employed maids last year, with an average, or ‘mean’ wage of $10.49 an hour. Now in Chicago, the pay was $11.39 an hour, which is not much different, and frankly, a low wage.
In Chicago, the pay was $11.39 an hour
This is a problem. The maid service industry is an old-school industry that hasn’t seen much change until recently, with the explosion of Web 2.0 websites that make booking an appointment a little easier (the premise of our site) with investors pouring money into financing them. Services such as ours charge a bit more for the convenience factor, and we tend to pay our maids a LOT better. This helps Web 2.0 companies two-fold:
Higher pay means attracting higher quality cleaners
Higher pay means cleaners perform higher-quality cleaning jobs
Of course, customers generally like knowing that their cleaners are getting a fair wage, and are working harder to make their home clean as a result.
So the question is, how much do Web 2.0 companies pay their maids?
We can’t speak for other companies, and because we pay by the job, a more efficient maid team will earn a higher effective hourly rate. However, our average maid team will make just over $20 an hour. As a result, Companion Maids has been able to hire some amazing maid teams, and our customers are pretty happy.
But that’s beside the point. The point is that your typical full-time maid cannot make enough money to pay their bills. And this is a problem. We need to focus on providing a means for making maid services valuable again so that when people pay to get their house cleaned, it’s a win/win situation for all.
People are busy and houses need to be cleaned. But what do you do if you’ve never used a maid service or you’re not happy with the one you’re using? Well we understand (part of the reason we started this service!)
With that thought, here are some reasons hiring a maid service, in general, is stressful, and what you can do about it.
1. Language Barrier
Sometimes the best maids out there are hard to communicate within English. This is unfortunate because it can be difficult to work out details and explain specifics to someone if there is a communication gap. In this case, the solution is simple but not always obvious — go with a Maid Service. A good maid service will almost always have someone that manages talent and is always searching for the best cleaners out there. A maid service will vet cleaners so that you don’t have to.
Your home is your palace, your sanctuary, your haven, your…you get the point. Naturally, you don’t want to just let anyone into your home. A pretty good thing to make sure of is whether the service or maid service you are looking into is bonded. Bonding insurance covers theft, so if anything disappears from your place, the service can not only compensate you for it — they are insured to do so. It’s a good idea to also figure out how much the bonding insurance is for before you make the plunge.
On top of that, make sure that the service or maid is background checked and/or has references. 99% of good cleaners out there are honest, reliable and trustworthy, but it’s always good to be safe.
Your clean and your maids’ sense of clean might be completely different. However, in most cases, there a few minute details that spell the difference between a mediocre clean and a great one. Do you prefer a regular clean or a deep clean? Do you want your interior windows cleaned? Are you incredibly low maintenance? Whatever your expectations are, it’s a good idea to get a sense of what is included in your service. Some services will give you a checklist of what is included in their different cleaning packages.
If that isn’t available, inquire about your what’s included. Of course, if a service does more than you expect, great, but never find yourself on the wrong side of the deal!
4. Appropriate Cleaning Products
You may have young children or housemates of the four-legged variety. If this is the case, and even if it is not, you might be better served by requesting eco-friendly products for your home. Most services tout ‘green products,’ but what they’re really doing is using just as damaging products with a higher level of dilution, which means — same nasty ingredients, much less clean.
With that said, make sure your maid service uses green products. That chemical smell you may be used to, frankly, is bad for you, and there are some great alternatives out there. We are a green company as well.
5. Convenience Factor
Probably the biggest thing that separates old versus new cleaning services is the convenience factor of booking. A lot of the older services are focused more on things like surveying your place before giving you a quote or booking you for hourly rates. If you don’t have a lot of experience with different maid services, it can be especially difficult to predict how long it will take to clean your home, and a maid may clean differently if they are given time constraints.
Newer services tend to focus on a flat-rate price for convenience. A more modern service will also accept credit cards as payment, with the ability to book online. Typically, more convenient service will be more expensive, but also deliver more value as the maids are being compensated more to clean your home. But if you are looking for a deal, there are plenty of services out there that offer some big discounts.
Busy lifestyles, stressful schedules and the lack of leisure time can steer a person to consider hiring a maid service to manage essential house housecleaning tasks. But prior to booking a consultation, it is crucial to know who you are allowing into your house. Here are some things to consider before hiring your first maid service.
Ensure that the housemaid servicing is bonded for its house cleaning customers. You should be safeguarded in case a theft happens. Very few organizations, if they are bonded at all, defend themselves as well as you.
Ensure that the house cleaning company is 100% insured. If a maiden slips and falls while cleaning the bathroom, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not include the event. The maid service should come with liability and employee accident coverage that should include your house, the cleaner, and the cleaning company.
Ensure that the service providing the maid is trustworthy. Inquire about the number of years they have been in business. If necessary, ask for work history and references. Gather the information related to the service. Inquire how long references have been using the service. Try to know if they had to face any issues with the service and how it was handled and whether they would recommend the service provider.
Certain private housekeepers, as well as a few of the services, require you to provide all cleaning products. If products are supplied by the house cleaning firm, ascertain what type of products will be utilized and if they contain harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. Ensure the products are safe for pets and kids. Thankfully, Companion Maids provides all cleaning products and equipment needed for the job.
If the maid service boasts utilizing “green” products or eco-friendly products for house cleaning, comprehend what they are using. Several products, although certified “green” actually include traditional chemicals at a lower proportion, literally diluting a chemical until it passes the criteria. This may be at the cost of the efficiency of the product. Various other ecologically safe products consist of bio-based components that incorporate natural bacteria and enzymes. They replicate the way nature naturally cleanses itself.
Hardware or Equipment
Examine what is provided for your house cleaning. Several independent housekeepers, as well as few services, require you to issue all cleaning equipment. If the housemaid service is providing the equipment, verify the effectiveness of the vacuum and the filtering system.
Figure out the service’s quality assurance procedures. How is the grade of service assessed and validated to assure the quality of service is properly maintained? A maid service should have quality assertion techniques in place to ensure their house cleaning matches quality standards. Inquire if the maid service has supervisors who examine each time to ensure the quality of service.
Hiring just the right maid service can be life-altering for the busy family. Now, this may seem to be a little over-the-top, but I am serious. Think about your life-whether single, a couple or a family you have no time. No time to keep your home as organized or clean as you would like. No time to do the smaller tidying jobs that would make a huge difference.